Archive for August, 2018

MUSIC AND MUSINGS

Hands (a short story)

Written by Joe Bunting

This is an interesting short story. Bunting manages to do a fairly good job of developing the plot and characters in just fifteen pages. As the story opens, Jim is an aging musician who plays for senior citizens in a nursing home. The somber mood is set. Jim has lost his true love, several years ago. His son is grown and living away from home. Jim’s memories and music are the only connections that keep him alive.

The setting switches to a restaurant where Jim has dinner with his best friend, his son, and fiancee. There is a brief discussion about politics that in some ways disrupts the main plot. Nevertheless, the author succeeds in writing a deep, thought-provoking piece filled with metaphors and interesting life scenarios.

Recommended for young adult and adult audiences.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

THE MANY ASPECTS OF LOVE

Mom, What is Love: The Various Aspects of Love as Perceived by Children

Written by Lili Benkel-Bergman

Illustrated by Nurit Tsarfati

This book is part of a series of books that attempt to tackle a series of emotions that young children find difficult to comprehend. In this volume, the author tries to explain the many kinds of love that one experiences throughout life. The young boy protagonist knows that he loves his mother because she is his mom. He is confused about his feelings for his younger brother, his friends, and grandparents. He reasons that if his grandparents have a love that is old, why can’t they trade an old love for a new one. What happens to love when a parent divorces? Why do some people love animals more than people? Why do we love some things and hate others?

The book jumps from one scenario to another very quickly. Parents or teachers will need to guide children in understanding the author’s point of view. I think the author’s objectives are sound, but perhaps the book is more appropriate for children a little older who are prepared to discuss these issues in greater depth with an adult. Recommended especially as a read-aloud for elementary and middle school readers.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

SHH….DON’T TELL

Maya Knows a Secret

Written by Daniel Georges

One day Maya asks her dad, “What is a secret?” He explains that a secret occurs when someone else tells you something that nobody else knows. Maya wonders then how does one know it is a secret. Dad explains that they will tell you not to tell anyone. Maya is dying to know a secret, but no one seems to want to tell her one. Finally, she finds one when a storekeeper reveals his secret, but Maya is frustrated when she accidentally reveals the secret to a friend.

The illustrations in this book are adorable and the message is a “spot on” way to explain the concept of a secret to young children. Highly recommended for primary school aged readers.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

ROCKET RUCKUS

Sascha Martin’s Rocket Ship

Written by John Arthur Nichol

Illustrated by Manuela Pentangelo

 

Sascha Martin is a second-grade genius. One day he brings a rocket ship to class and places it on a table with a sign that says, “Do not touch.” Well, you can guess what happens when one of the students pushes the button. It launches into space creating all manner of havoc in the school. The rocket tears holes in the walls, the roof, and damages the athletic fields. It carries a few teachers as well as Sascha into the atmosphere to the horror of the those watching from the ground. Will they successfully return to earth?

This book is part of a series about the exploits of Sascha. It is written in rhyme, which sometimes appeared a bit off, though these rhymes could be peculiar to Australia. Illustrations are delightfully clever and sharp. My rating was lowered in part because the book contains a few errors in punctuation and grammar, but many middle-grade students who enjoy science fiction, adventure, and humor will find it an easy and enjoyable read.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

AUSTRALIAN JAUNT

Austin the Australian
Written by Christopher Boeckman and Ethan Freeman

Austin is a schoolboy with a vivid imagination and a yen for travel. On this particular day, Austin is imagining that he is transported to Australia for the day. He takes his readers on many journeys including riding on a dirt bike, surfing, deep sea diving, and hiking as he traverses the continent. Austin meets a native friend named Alinga and explores with her. They discover indigenous creatures like koalas, kangaroos, sugar gliders and emus.

This book is richly illustrated with simple, bright images that invoke lots of details. The whole story is written in rhyme that works for the most part. Targeted for children in grades one through six, I feel it is particularly appropriate for grades two through four. It provides an introduction to life in Australia.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
%d bloggers like this: